We all like to celebrate our birthdays. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. Pentecost is not a name but rather it is a number, means 50. It is the conclusion of 50 days of the Easter season. The Jews celebrated the feast of Pentecost fifty days after the Passover. Originally it was an agricultural harvest festival after the fifty days of Passover, as we read in the book Exodus chapter 34. Later they celebrated the giving of the law at Mount Sinai after fifty days of Passover. Now we celebrate the new Pentecost after the fifty days of Jesus' resurrection. When God came to Mount Sinai, there was fire and loud sound with a trumpet blast (Exodus 19:16-19). In the new Pentecost, there was mighty winds and tongues of fire come to over the apostles (Acts 2:1-4).
In the Book Joel 3:1& 2, we read, “Thus says the LORD: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; even upon the servants and the handmaids, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.” In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter in his first speech after Pentecost quotes book of Joel and explaining about the coming Holy Spirit.
The Hebrew word RUAH means, breath, or wind. From the Book of Genesis onwards, we can see the presence of the Holy Spirit. Genesis 1:1-2 we see the Spirit's creative power were active present in the world. In Chapter 2:7 we see God blew into the nostril of Man the breath of life. In the Gospel of John 20:21 & 22, Jesus appeared to his disciples after the resurrection and said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Throughout the Bible, God’s power, or spirit is bestowed on chanson individuals.
On Pentecost Sunday the Apostles proclaimed the Christian message, they presented the Gospel to people from all over the world yet were heard speaking in their own languages. The Greeks heard the message in Greek, the Persians in Farsi, the Romans in Latin, the Jews in Hebrew or Aramaic, etc. Although the people who heard the message were from all over, the message itself united them into one people. This was and is the work of the Holy Spirit, forming us into One Person, the Body of Christ.
We all received the Holy Spirit at our Baptism and Confirmation. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Anointing of the Holy Spirit takes place in us when we eagerly ask for it. Sometimes we may tempted to think, it is for the saintly people. It is a wrong concept. Anointing of the Holy Spirit is for all of us to grow in holiness. Jesus promised apostles an advocate, a helper. When they received the Holy Spirit, transformed their life, they got out of the fear, they got out of the walls of the upper room. They went out to the street and proclaimed the Good News.
Let us repeat Cardinal Newman’s favorite little prayer, “Come Holy Spirit:”
“Come Holy Spirit
Make our ears to hear
Make our eyes to see
Make our mouths to speak
Make our hearts to seek
Make our hands to reach out
And touch the world with your love. AMEN.”